Peru's "Little Mermaid" baby, who is about to turn 3 years old this week, walked around her nursery school yard last Friday, just seven months after undergoing an operation to fully separate her fused legs.
Milagros Cerron, whose first name means "miracles" in Spanish, was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome," which left her legs connected from her heels to her groin.
Dr. Luis Rubio, chief of the medical team that successfully separated Milagros' legs, invited reporters to see her progress on Friday. He said doctors have successfully reconstructed the child's hips, knees and ankles and that she is "doing well physically."
However, Dr. Rubio indicated Milagros will need another operation in approximately two years to reconstruct and repair her urinary and sexual organs.
"We've gotten past the first stage, but it's not the last," Rubio said. "There's a long way to go."
Nonetheless, her progress is simply amazing and she now plays around with her classmates and even takes ballet lessons.
In Spanish, "Milagros" means "miracles". That is why Milagros' parents chose the beautiful name for their little daughter.
Milagros was born with a rare congenital defect known as sirenomelia, or "mermaid syndrome," which left her legs connected from the heels to her groin.
Now the Peruvian girl Milagros Cerron has just turned six years old. She danced in front of media at her birthday ceremony at Lima's City Hall on April 27.
According to Dr. Luis Rubio, head of the surgical team that separated Milagros' legs, and rebuilt her knees, hips and ankles, the girl is making good progress.
Born in a village in the Andes, Milagros has received three major operations in the last five years in Peru.
In June 2005 doctors successfully performed risky surgery to separate her legs to above her knees, and the second operation was carried out to separate the remaining fused tissue just below the groin.
Milagros still has a long way to go. She will need to have her urinary and sexual organs reconstructed, in two years.
Each step the mermaid girl took has been followed by intense media coverage and under close watch by people around the world.